Being a good black person with a gun

the perception of arms and race

art of the shot
Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense
Annoyingly frequently, a story will catch my attention in the “while black” section of the news. In this case, “sleeping while black.”

A black woman was shot and killed after Kentucky police entered her home as she slept, her family says. “Louisville Metro Police Department officers were looking for a suspect at the wrong home when they shot and killed Breonna Taylor, according to a lawsuit.” Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who had a licensed firearm, fired his gun when he thought someone was breaking in. He was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer.

People have asked me if I would feel safer being a good black person with a gun. Hell, no.

Back in 2018, a black man killed by police in Alabama mall was shot from behind. “Emantic ‘EJ’ Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21, was shot when police officers responding to reports of gunfire at the mall mistook him for the gunman. According to witnesses, Bradford was helping other shoppers to safety.”

That same year, there was an interesting article in The New York Times. ‘I Am the “Good Guy With a Gun’: Black Gun Owners Reject Stereotypes, Demand Respect. “After recent incidents in which police officers shot black men who tried to stop a shooting, African-American gun owners told us how they navigate being wrongly perceived as a threat.”

In the second half of 2018 alone, at least three black men in the United States had been shot by police in separate incidents while trying, according to witnesses, to stop an active shooting. Jordan Klepper, in his short-lived series, produced a piece, Open Carrying While White vs. Open Carrying While Black.

Philando Castile, RIP

I’m still pained, and slackjawed by the death of Philando Castile in 2017, a black man with a legally-owned gun, who announces in a traffic stop that he has a weapon in the vehicle and ends up dead.

This story is interesting: Racism and the black hole of gun control in the US. “Would tighter gun laws help protect African Americans or make them more vulnerable to racism and police brutality? Charles E Cobb Jr notes of the civil rights movement that “if not for the threat of gunfire, many more peaceful protests – and possibly the movement itself – would have been silenced by violence.”

Still, the perception of arms and race are quite different. And historical. Check out The Racist Origins of US Gun Control Laws Designed To Disarm Slaves, Freedmen, And African-Americans by Steve Ekwall.

In 2016, Agent Orange encouraged supporters to “watch” polls on election day. And similar noise is being made this year. Yet the tiny New Black Panther Party doing it in previous years was seen as terrorism, not Second Amendment freedom. What’s the difference here? It’s as simple as black and white.

March rambling #2: librocubicularist

They don’t think capitalism will exist by then

Lao Tzu
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John Bolton Paid Cambridge Analytica $1.2 Million to Make Americans ‘More Militaristic’

Scientific American: Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns?

Give Teachers Guns, And More Black Children Will Die

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Surveillance footage shows the Las Vegas gunman’s methodical steps in the days just before the massacre

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Austin Goolsbee says the tariffs are like his Aunt Trina’s lasagna

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New York City exporting homeless families to other parts of the state, including my hometown of Binghamton

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NY Mets hitter Rusty Staub dies at 73

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Librocubicularist (noun; plural: librocubicularists) (rare) A person who reads in bed

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A video essay about cartoon sound effects

“73 Questions” video – Christine Pedi as Liza

MUSIC

Three Manhattan Bridges, for Piano and Orchestra: I. George Washington Bridge – Michael Torke, composer; Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor; Joyce Yang – piano; Torke, Miller, Yang discuss the work

Pluto – King of the Underworld (Hades) – Taimane

Chicken Shack Boogie – Amos Milburn

Snake Farm – Ray Wylie Hubbard

Hendrix doing Hendrix on an acoustic guitar

5 O’Clock World – the Vogues, with more of their songs

Long Time Gone -Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Coverville 1210: Aerosmith Cover Story II

WKRP in Cincinnati new home recordings and end theme lyrics

TV Theme Song medley – Jimmy Fallon & Will Smith

Stream a 346-Hour Chronological Playlist of Live Grateful Dead Performances (1966-1995)

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The curiously elusive date of Bach’s birthday

October rambling #1: Naturalist At Large

A Poem Can Help End a War

Roy Moore is a lawless theocratic lunatic

Scientology and the cult of tRump

The Rules of the Gun Debate: The rules for discussing firearms in the United States obscure the obvious solutions

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer

Sandy Hook mom: ‘We value guns, flags & fake acts of patriotism over people, pain’

Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns

Just What We Needed: More Inequality, Bigger Deficits

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Forensic Science: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty. Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures

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Chuck Miller’s two-week boycott of ESPN

Finding Your Roots: Bernie Sanders and Larry David (may be available only in the US and until 31 Oct)

Free counseling for those affected by Hurricane Harvey from BetterHelp.com for up to three months

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EU English

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Fall Preview

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MUSIC

Waiting For The Waiter – MonaLisa Twins ft. John Sebastian

Coverville 1187: Cover Stories for Gerry & The Pacemakers and Everything But The Girl

Magic Moments – Perry Como

Merrily We Roll Along – Eddie Cantor

Keith Lamont Scott of Charlotte, NC

Some gun person asked me, “Wouldn’t you feel safer having a gun?”

keithlamontscottYou’ve likely heard about the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, at the hands of the police, specifically a black police officer. There were demonstrations that started out peacefully, but turned violent for a couple days.

Putting aside, for the moment, the grief over the untimely death of the individual, I was immediately concerned about the well being of my “baby” sister and her adult daughter who live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Somehow it’s different when you see a massive demonstration at the corner of Trade and Tryon, and you say, “I know exactly where THAT is.”
Continue reading “Keith Lamont Scott of Charlotte, NC”

Wear orange: end gun violence

“I will also Wear Orange on June 2nd for the other 30,000 lives lost to gun violence in our nation every year.”

gun-control-wearing-orangeIt was only this year that I heard about the # Wear Orange movement. Thursday, June 2 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

“The color orange symbolizes the value of human life. Hunters wear orange in the woods to protect themselves and others. In 2013, teens on the South Side of Chicago asked classmates to honor their murdered friend by wearing orange.” And it has become a national movement.

I asked my friend Ruth Senchyna to write about it from her very personal perspective: Continue reading “Wear orange: end gun violence”